ATHENS, Greece - Quarantine, social distancing and face masks have come to be a part of the new global reality shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, there are still those who deny the severity of the coronavirus and refuse to wear masks.
A doctor at the Ippokatio hospital in Athens, Greece — where there are more than 18,800 confirmed cases — is hoping to meet COVID-19- and mask-deniers head-on.
Dr. Nikos Razis posted an open invitation on his social media for those denying the existence of the pandemic to join him in the emergency duty of the public hospital. There was only one condition: that they do not wear a mask or any personal protective equipment.
“This is an official invitation to mask- and COVID-19 deniers to accompany me for 9 whole hours during the emergency duty of the hospital the day after tomorrow,” Razis wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post. “But without a mask and a signed statement. Next to me. With me. Among patients of COVID-19.”
He posted the invitation on both Twitter and Facebook, and noted that he had not received any response in the first 24 hours.
Earlier in August, Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific regional director, said that younger people have been “increasingly driving the spread” of COVID-19.
He stressed the importance for everyone, regardless of age, to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and practice “behaviors that protect their health and that of their family members, colleagues and community.”